Access control cards/ tags/ fobs - Expert commentary

Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control
Automatic gates: Making the right investment for access control

The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more conscious of who is coming and going from our property. Whether it is a family home, business premises or public building, property owners want full control over access for protection and peace of mind. As a provider of access control technologies, we are seeing a growing demand for automated gates with a variety of access control systems. There are a number of considerations that buyers need to make when investing. And as an installer, there is advice that you can offer to help your clients make the right choice for their property. Here are some of the key considerations you’ll need to make and discuss with your client. Whomever you buy from, you should be offered more than a simple instruction manual. Electronic locks, magnetic locks and code security In the first instance, you’ll need to advise on the type of lock and access control available. Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open. Locks are required for all non-locking (also known as reversible) operators and are recommended for any gate on a multi-user site or any gate over 2.5m. Apply the same logic to an automated gate as you would to a domestic door – for example, you wouldn’t fit your front door with a lock on the same side as the hinges or a drop bolt at the hinge end of a manual gate so why dispense with this logic when the gate is automated? Electronic locks release on the operation of the automation system to allow the gates to open There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks. These are all designed for external use. While the gate itself will provide physical security, the customer will want to feel in control of who enters their property, when and for what purpose. Consider access for post and deliveries, waste disposal and visitors arriving on foot etc. There is a range of options available. Intercom systems will allow the user to vet visitors, keypad entry can allow remote access for visitors with a specific code, remote controls allow an oncoming driver to open the gates without getting out of the vehicle, and a timer control can be used to open or close the gates at certain times of the day. Vehicle detection loops can be installed discreetly under the tarmac allowing the presence of vehicles to exit the gates and prevent closing whilst obstructed. Sliding gates versus swinging gates There are a number of locks on the market including magnetic locks, drop locks that “shoot” a bolt into the ground and side latching locks Gates can be automated to either swing or to slide open and in the case of swinging gates, the opener may be concealed underground or gate mounted. The most suitable opener for your installation will depend on the space available and the type of gate selected. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates. However, where gates are fully infilled (typical of many timber designs), gate mounted openers are concealed from the front of the gate by the gate leaf and present a cost-effective option. The choice between slide and swing is largely down to space - swing gates require a clear space for their opening arc whilst sliding gates require space to one or both sides of the gate. Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited, as they use the least space when opening. Voltage Most swing gate and sliding systems are available in 24v or 230v. The 24v systems still need 230v mains power – there is a transformer built into the 24v control panels. Deciding which voltage to use can include a combination of factors such as the material of the gates, the location of the system and the safety features you want. Concealed underground automation is ideal for highly ornate gates With wrought iron gates, the wind can pass through them whereas with fully boarded wooden gates (popular because they give full privacy) the wind has nowhere to go, so they act like sails. For commercial or industrial applications with larger entrances and a heavy gate, you may need 3 Phase 400v power (sliding gates only). Installing gate motors in confined spaces The environment in which you are fitting may well influence which gate and motor you recommend. Will it be in an exposed area which is subject to the elements? Will it be positioned on a slope? Sliding gates are perhaps the best choice where the drive slopes or when drive space is limited Installers have always faced the challenge of installing gate motors in confined spaces. When fitting a pedestrian gate, there is often limited space in which to work – potentially making an installation time consuming and technically demanding. If this is the case for you, consider a gate operator which is designed specifically for installations with limited space for manoeuvre. An example of this is the E5 compact gate operator. The operator is not only small but has an optional slide lever attachment designed for installations where there is extremely limited space, meaning that just 8cm of the pillar is needed for installation. What’s more, improved fixing points and a simple ‘hook and fasten’ process means assembly is safe, quick and straight forward. Ultimately, you’ll be looking for a good quality, reliable product with good service. Work with a supplier that offers more than just a manual. If they are happy to offer training, their time and advice when you buy, the chances are you’ll get their support long term.

4 ways to keep your workplace protected from COVID-19
4 ways to keep your workplace protected from COVID-19

The unprecedented global impact of COVID-19 has taken its toll on all of us, but as cases of the virus thankfully recede, employers are now forced to confront how they can enable a safe return to work for employees. For many employers, this means they will have to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, redesign workspaces to maintain social distances, carry out more frequent cleaning, manage the transmission risk and find alternatives to touch-based security devices. Protecting workplace occupants in any emergency requires preparation and clear communication. This is especially critical in a health crisis involving an infectious disease. These are some of the essential best practices that could help organisations reduce the impact on their employees and operations during this pandemic. 1. Use a visitor management system With a visitor management system, organisations have a single source of real-time and historical insights into who is, or was recently, in the workplace. This is especially important because of the need to perform contact tracing should anyone in the organisation show symptoms of COVID-19, meaning everyone they have been in contact with needs to be contacted and asked to isolate. Yet still, first impressions are made at the front desk or lobby, where the visitor experience needs to be a positive one. At the same time, though, any emergency event requires that there be strict control over who is entering the workplace. This policy also needs to be clearly communicated to visitors. Doing this minimises risk to visitors as well as the workforce. In addition to delivering a high-quality visitor experience, the ideal visitor management system must: Enable organisations to meet regulatory compliance mandates and facilitate check-in at a self-service kiosk to minimise wait times. Customise the visitor experience to support specific security needs, such as accelerating and simplifying check-in or requiring additional security pre-checks. Automate compliance as it relates to visitor access rules with historical visit reports. 2. Pre-check questions at visitor registration kiosks Organisations can strengthen security at the registration kiosk using a flexible, enterprise-grade visitor management system to add visitor sign-in steps. This has proven successful in the past when used to control the spread of infectious disease during an outbreak. An example of this is a U.S. children's hospital which managed to reduce facility infection rates by 25 percent over a two-year period using a commercial, off-the-shelf physical identity and access management (PIAM) solution from HID Global. The solution provides two particularly important capabilities that can be used by organisations to protect their workplace from the uncontrolled spread of an infectious disease: Enhance visitor registration policy with additional mandatory questions to help identify any visitors who may need other screenings. Extend the visitor registration kiosk with a mandatory pop-up asking further questions during visitor check-in. 3. Understand who has visited your workplace Successful controlling the spread of infection throughout a facility requires the ability to automatically maintain an auditable trail of activity. This can be done using an enterprise-grade visitor management system that makes it easy to retrieve historical visit reports. This provides a timeline of who was in the workplace, and when they were there. Key features include: A single dashboard providing useful visitor insights at your fingertips. Historical reports that provide visitor details including location and contact information, all in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy regulations. 4. Clearly communicate how infection risks can be reduced Global organisations must actively communicate with visitors and employees on the outbreak of infectious diseases and follow best practices outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO). Here are several things organisations can do in this area to help maintain a safe and healthy workplace: Re-enforce and communicate WHO best practices with guideline posters in the front lobby and throughout the workplace. Add posters that also encourage regular and thorough washing of hands. Encourage everyone to cough or sneese into their shirt sleeve in their flexed elbow or cover their mouth and nose with a tissue. Encourage everyone to keep a relatively safe distance from each other and use alternatives to handshakes when saying hello. Organisations must contend with a variety of workplace challenges during the outbreak of an infectious disease. These challenges can be solved with best practices that include a comprehensive visitor management system that automates critical check-in policies and maintains an auditable trail of visitor activity.  

The growth of the mobile access card market in 2020
The growth of the mobile access card market in 2020

The emergence of smartphones using iOS and Android is rapidly changing the landscape of the IT industry around the world. Several industries, such as digital cameras, car navigation, MP3, and PNP, have been replaced by equivalent or even better performance using smartphones. Smartphones provide increasing portability by integrating the functions of various devices into a single unit which allows them to connect to platforms with network-based services and offer new services and conveniences that have never been experienced before. These changes have expanded into the access control market. Although not yet widespread, ‘Mobile access cards’ is one of the terminologies that everyone has been talking about. RF cards used for access security are being integrated into smartphones just as digital cameras and MP3s were in the past. While people might forget their access cards at home in the morning, they seldom forget their smartphones. Using smartphones for access control increases entry access reliability and convenience. Mobile/smartphone access control A key aspect of mobile credential is that it makes it possible to issue or reclaim cards without face-to-face interaction As in other markets, the combination of smartphones and access cards is creating a new value that goes beyond the simple convenience of integration enhancing the ability to prevent unauthorized authentication and entrance. People sometimes lend their access cards to others, but it is far less likely they might lend their smartphone with all their financial information and personal information – to another person. This overcomes an important fundamental weakness of RF cards. Another valuable aspect of mobile credential is that it makes it possible to issue or reclaim cards without face-to-face interaction. Under existing access security systems, cards must be issued in person. Since card issuance implies access rights, the recipient’s identification must be confirmed first before enabling the card and once the card has been issued, it cannot be retracted without another separate face-to-face interaction. Mobile access cards In contrast, mobile access cards are designed to transfer authority safely to the user's smartphone based on TLS. In this way, credentials can be safely managed with authenticated users without face-to-face interaction. Mobile cards can be used not only at the sites with a large number of visitors or when managing access for an unspecified number of visitors, but also at the places like shared offices, kitchens and gyms, currently used as smart access control systems in shared economy markets. The market share of mobile access cards today is low even though the capability can offer real benefits to users and markets. While the access control market itself is slow-moving, there are also practical problems that limit the adoption of new technologies like mobile access cards. Use of Bluetooth Low Energy technology While NFC could be an important technology for mobile credential that is available today on virtually all smartphones, differences in implementation and data handling processes from various vendors prevents universal deployment of a single solution to all devices currently on the market. Accordingly, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has been considered as an alternative to NFC. Bluetooth is a technology that has been applied to smartphones for a long time, and its usage and interface are unified, so there are no compatibility problems. However, speed becomes the main problem. The authentication speed of BLE mobile access card products provided by major companies is slower than that of existing cards. Enhancing credential authentication speed Authentication speed is being continuously improved using BLE's GAP layer and GATT layers The second problem is that mobile access cards must be accompanied by a supply of compatible card readers. In order to use mobile access cards, readers need to be updated but this is not a simple task in the access control market. For 13.56 MHz smart cards (which were designed to replace 125 kHz cards), it has taken 20 years since the standard was established but only about half of all 25 kHz cards have been replaced so far. Legacy compatibility and the need for equivalent performance, even with additional benefits, will drive adoption timing for the Access Control market. While BLE technology helps resolve the compatibility problem of mobile access cards, it can identify some breakthroughs that can solve the speed problem. Authentication speed is being continuously improved using BLE's GAP layer and GATT layers, and new products with these improvements are now released in the market. Making use of key improvements allows Suprema's mobile access card to exhibit an authentication speed of less than 0.5 seconds providing equivalent performance to that of card-based authentication. AirFob Patch MOCA System's AirFob Patch addresses the need for technological improvements in the access control market in a direct, cost effective, and reliable way – by offering the ability to add high-performance BLE to existing card readers – enabling them to read BLE smartphone data by applying a small adhesive patch approximately the size of a coin. This innovative breakthrough applies energy harvesting technology, generating energy from the RF field emitted by the existing RF reader – then converting the data received via BLE back into RF – and delivering it to the reader. By adding the ability to use BLE on virtually any existing RF card reading device, MOCA allows greater ability for partners and end users to deploy a technologically-stable, high performance access control mobile credential solution to their employees, using devices they already own and are familiar with. Adding MOCA AirFob Patch eliminates the need to buy and install updated readers simply to take advantage of mobile credential, lowering costs and risks, and increasing employee confidence and convenience. Growth forecast of mobile access card market in 2020 In 2020, forecasts show that the mobile access card market will grow far more rapidly Several companies have entered the mobile access card market, but they have not set up a meaningful product solution stream until 2019. In 2020, forecasts show that the mobile access card market will grow far more rapidly. Reviewing new entries into the market allows identification of the latest products that provide improving solutions to compatibility and speed problems. MOCA AirFob Patch addresses development plans in process today that overcome the legacy installed base of card readers – allowing rapid creation of an environment that can make immediate use of BLE mobile access cards. Integrated mobile digital ID With proven usability and within suitable environments, mobile access cards will also begin to make inroads into other markets, not just the access control market. In the sharing economy market, which seeks access management without face-to-face interaction, the integrated mobile digital ID led by the 'DID Alliance' will serve as a technical tool that can be used in access authentication – forging increasing links between the access control and digital ID markets.

Latest Hanwha Techwin Europe news

Hanwha Techwin introduces Face Mask Detection application to support the businesses reopening during COVID-19
Hanwha Techwin introduces Face Mask Detection application to support the businesses reopening during COVID-19

Coinciding with the recent launch of the Occupancy Monitoring application designed to help implement social distancing rules, Hanwha Techwin has also introduced a Face Mask Detection application which will further help businesses operate in a COVID-19 affected world. Wearing a mask is believed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and has already been adopted as a safety measure in many workplaces. However, the availability of the Face Mask Detection application could not come at a better time with the World Health Organisation (WHO) now recommending the use of face masks wherever social distancing is difficult. The UK government is also making it compulsory to wear a face covering when visiting or working within healthcare facilities and when using public transport. Innovative video analytics An Alarm Out feature can also be used to turn on a device such as a warning beacon The UK is not alone in introducing regulations to ensure the wearing of face coverings. In Germany, for example, it is necessary to do so when on public transport and while shopping, and in Spain everyone older than six, has to wear masks in indoor public spaces and outdoors when it is not easy for people to keep more than two metres apart. The Face Mask Detection application developed by Hanwha Techwin’s technology partner, a2 Technology, runs on open-platform Wisenet X Series cameras and uses innovative video analytics to detect if a person entering an area is not wearing a mask. This will trigger the playing of a customisable audio message such as ‘please wear a face mask’. Fixed lens cameras The audio message is generated via an audio support feature built into Wisenet X cameras, negating the need for a PC or a separate audio storage device to be installed nearby. A short cable is all that is required to connect a speaker to the camera. An Alarm Out feature can also be used to turn on a device such as a warning beacon. The application, which simultaneously detects and analyses up to 4 people and can detect people at a distance up to 5 metres from a camera, is not affected by glasses, hats or scarfs, is also able to detect if a mask is not being correctly worn. A digital zoom-in function, which is designed to be used with fixed lens cameras, assists installers to configure the application so that it focuses on a specific region of a camera’s field of view if it is considered to be too wide. Edge-based solution The Face Mask Detection application can be ordered pre-loaded on selected Wisenet X models as an out-of-the-box solution. These are: XNB-6000/MSK Network box camera XNO-6080/MSK Network IR bullet camera XND-6010/MSK Network dome camera XNV-6011/MSK Vandal-resistant network dome camera As is the case with all Wisenet X Series cameras, these models are equipped with SD/SDHC/SDXC memory slots, enabling images associated with incidents of people not wearing masks or not wearing them correctly, to be stored locally. There is also the option for the images to be stored on an FTP server. Video Management Software We fully understand our responsibilities in terms of offering solutions which are fit for purpose" A web-based interface enables users to receive alerts via a desktop PC. The application has also been integrated with the Wisenet WAVE 4.0 Video Management Software (VMS) platform which, with its ‘Layout-as-an-Action’ feature, enables a predefined screen layout to be automatically opened when an event occurs. This makes it even easier for operators to verify there has been an infringement of mask wearing rules. “The Face Mask Detection application is an excellent example of how video surveillance technology is able to help people safely go about their every-day business,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. Occupancy Monitoring applications “With lives sadly at stake, we fully understand our responsibilities in terms of offering solutions which are fit for purpose, such as the Face Mask Detection and Occupancy Monitoring applications." "Over the coming weeks we will therefore continue to work in-house and with hand-picked technology partners to develop additional practical solutions which will robustly assist offices, factories, hospitals, art galleries and museums, places of worship, transport facilities and many other types of businesses and organisations, to safely open their doors to the public.”

Hanwha Techwin unveils Wisenet P Series AI cameras-compatible, edge-based Occupancy Monitoring application solution
Hanwha Techwin unveils Wisenet P Series AI cameras-compatible, edge-based Occupancy Monitoring application solution

Help is immediately on hand for businesses who are urgently seeking to safely re-open their doors following the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions. Hanwha Techwin’s licence-free Occupancy Monitoring application provides retailers, places of worship and museums, as well as leisure facilities, pubs, clubs and restaurants, with highly accurate data on the number of customers on their premises at any particular time. Edge-based Occupancy Monitoring Compatible with the recently introduced Wisenet P Series AI cameras, the edge-based Occupancy Monitoring application simultaneously counts the number of people entering or leaving a building. When the maximum permitted number of people has been reached, the application generates alarm outputs to control automatic doors or a traffic beacon, as well as ‘wait’ or ‘enter’ messages that can be displayed on a monitor. Serverless solution The Occupancy Monitoring application has the power to aggregate and process data from multiple cameras The Occupancy Monitoring application has the power to aggregate and process data from multiple cameras and is therefore, ideal for buildings with multiple entrances and exits. As a serverless solution, it negates the need for system integrators to spend time configuring complicated server-side software. It also significantly reduces the capital cost of a project as the end-user does not need to incur the cost of buying a server. Deep Learning AI built into cameras With the support of Deep Learning AI built into the cameras, the Occupancy Monitoring application offers the additional benefit of being able to accurately count people even when a camera is wall mounted. Unlike less accurate people counting solutions which use conventional video analytics, the camera does not have to be mounted on a ceiling to provide an overhead field of view. This means, the camera can be simultaneously used for security purposes and people counting, and users are also able to take advantage of a host of additional video analytics applications which can be run onboard the camera, including heat map and intrusion, loitering and people/object detection. The new Wisenet Occupancy Monitoring application is compatible with the following cameras: PNB-A9001 - 4K AI box camera PNO-A9081R - 4K AI bullet camera PNV-A9081R - 4K AI vandal-resistant dome camera with built-in IR illumination PND-A9081RF - 4K AI flush-mount dome camera with built-in IR illumination PND-A9081RV - 4K AI dome camera with built-in IR illumination Time and cost savings The dome cameras have a four-part magnetic modular design, which makes them extremely easy to install The dome cameras have a four-part magnetic modular design, which makes them extremely easy to install. The ability to prefigure IP network settings without the need to remove the camera modules from their packaging also reduces the time an engineer has to spend on site, thereby enabling companies with multiple sites to rapidly roll-out the application with minimal disruption to their business. Wisenet P Series AI cameras The high-performance and feature-rich Wisenet P Series AI cameras will continue to deliver significant benefits beyond the immediate requirement to support the Occupancy Monitoring application during COVID-19. In addition to being used to detect and monitor any criminal activity, they can easily be redeployed to capture valuable business intelligence and help companies improve productivity. Retailers, in particular, can analyse the impact of any marketing activities on footfall and by identifying a store’s busiest times, better manage the peaks and troughs of customer flow at checkouts. Integrated with Wisenet Retail Insight (v2.0) In this respect, the cameras are supported by Wisenet Retail Insight (v2.0), a business intelligence solution, which utilises people counting, heat mapping and queue management applications to display statistical analytics on a centralised dashboard, along with other practical information such as weather reports. With the help of AI algorithms onboard the Wisenet P Series AI cameras, Retail Insight is also able to display an estimated age and gender of store visitors. Hanwha Techwin has always been able to rapidly respond to changing market demands" Licence-free solution “At this most challenging of times for our communities and the economy, we are proud to have the opportunity to contribute to the efforts being made to recover from the effects of COVID-19 by offering the Occupancy Monitoring application as a licence-free solution,” said Uri Guterman, Head of Product & Marketing for Hanwha Techwin Europe. Uri adds, “With the security budgets of many businesses being stretched, we have felt a social responsibility to offer the application licence-free and in doing so, help maximise the number of end-users who are able benefit from it.” He further said, “Hanwha Techwin has always been able to rapidly respond to changing market demands and with countless businesses extremely eager to re-open, we have yet again been able to rise to the challenge. This rapidly deployable, innovative and highly effective solution can offer peace of mind by assisting the implementation of social distancing rules at any building open to the public.”

Security and Safety Things GmbH reshapes video analytics and computer vision with IP cameras
Security and Safety Things GmbH reshapes video analytics and computer vision with IP cameras

Security & Safety Things GmbH (S&ST) is set to reshape innovation in video analytics and computer vision with the commercial availability of a number of new smart IP security cameras, from a variety of vendors, that leverage the Security & Safety Things open and secure IoT platform. This new generation of security cameras will operate using the free S&ST camera operating system, which enables the cameras to run multiple AI-enabled applications in parallel. The apps automate the analysis of video data to produce valuable operational intelligence for business optimisation as well as provide easy to deploy tools that can aid in re-opening measures from the COVID-19 pandemic. Pandemic health and safety mandates “Organisations of all sizes around the world need flexible, easy to deploy solutions that enable compliance with constantly changing pandemic health and safety mandates and provide future value to ramp up and optimise their ongoing business operations,” says Hartmut Schaper, chief executive officer, Security & Safety Things. Companies can now deploy cameras, running the S&ST OS and using a selection of apps" “Companies can now deploy cameras, running the S&ST OS and using a selection of apps from our Application Store, to detect the absence of facial coverings in a retail environment. Tomorrow, the same camera can help that same retailer to optimise merchandise placement based on store foot traffic, in one store or throughout the enterprise, along with further optimisations.” IP-based surveillance footage Qisda/Topview will be the first camera manufacturer to launch a camera running the S&ST OS in May, followed in quick succession by AndroVideo, who will also start shipping their S&ST enabled cameras in Q2. Bosch is making their INTEOX camera line available as of July followed by camera firms Vivotek and BSTsecurity who plan to ship a bit later in Q3. The first devices from Hanwha Techwin that run the S&ST OS are expected to be commercially available in Q4. Security & Safety Things, Hanwha, Vivotek, Bosch, Qisda/Topview, and AndroVideo are also all proud members of the OpenSecurity and Safety Alliance (OSSA). The free Security & Safety Things OS is built on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). It leverages the expanding processing and analytic power of modern IP cameras to exponentially increase the amount of operational intelligence that can be mined from traditional IP-based surveillance footage. Drone threat detection It already features more than 50 applications from more than 35 developer partners The applications that can be installed on these cameras, both in an on-premise as well as a remote setting, are created by highly specialised third-party developers and are available through the platform’s open Application Store. It already features more than 50 applications from more than 35 developer partners, with more than 30 additional apps expected to hit the store soon. In addition to pandemic applications, use cases include detection of weapons, behavioural analysis, payment systems for parking garages, drone threat detection and even identifying objects presented for purchase in a cash register transaction for cashier-free retail environments. Security & Safety Things, together with some of its camera and system integration partners are already running projects in a live setting. These projects use, for example, heat mapping and queue analysis in retail stores and automated payment processing and license plate recognition for barrier free traffic. These types of applications are running in pilots with the parking management solutions provider Peter Park as well as with the mobility provider SIXT.

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